Tonight I’ll be teaching the first class of the new semester for my American National Government course. I have to admit that it’s pretty exciting. Teaching this course for the last two fall semesters has really shown me how much I enjoy teaching and lecturing about political science, public policy, community development, and neighborhood stabilization. In general, I think I like the act of teaching, too. When you can guide a young (or, in some cases, old) mind towards a new way of looking at a popular topic – well, that feels pretty good!
I’ve made some slight additions and modifications to my syllabus this semester. The biggest addition was some more text about plagiarism and what is not acceptable. Would you believe that last year I actually had students who copied and pasted full paragraphs from Wikipedia and thought it was okay? Further, they left the footnotes and endnotes in the copied and pasted text! Yeah – go back and re-read that last sentence. I’m not joking about it either. It was pathetic. Naturally, I had to add some more text to that portion of the syllabus.
The other area that received more text in the syllabus was the fact that cell phones need to be turned off or to vibrate during the class. The new language talks about how all forms of electronic communication including texts, picture messages, IMs, and e-mails are not permitted to be sent during the class session. It’s really the texting that can get under an instructor’s skin, so if you’re a student and you do that stuff – cut it out!
I’m looking forward to a great semester, but if anything crazy happens you’ll know about it!